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Facts About Mansa Musa

Musa Mansa Musa or I was the Emperor of Mali during the 14th century. The richest man of all time, he is known for his trip to Mecca, which displayed his wealth in cities. Here are 10 fascinating pieces of information regarding Mansa Musa whose empire covered modern-day Ghana, Timbuktu, and Mali in West Africa.

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Facts About Mansa Musa


Mansa I of Mali was popular under various names throughout his time, such as Emir of Melle and Lord of the Mines of Wangara, Conqueror of Ghanata, Lion of Mali and Kankan Musa. In the West, he’s known as Mansa Musa. Musa is a Muslim name, whose biblical counterpart is Moses and Mansa is a reference to “King of Kings.”

#2 He was the 10TH RULER of the MALI EMPIRE

Mansa Musa’s father was the cousin of Sundiata Keita, the founding father of the Mali Empire. It was a common practice in the Malian Empire that, when the king went on a voyage that was usually a pilgrimage to Mecca and Mecca, he appointed an assistant to oversee the affairs of the empire. Later this deputy became known as his successor. Mansa Musa was appointed deputy by Emperor Abu Bakr II when he traveled to the boundaries of the Atlantic Ocean. Abu Bakr II never returned and in 1307 Mansa Musa became the Tenth head of the Malian Empire.

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Mansa Musa is most famous for his journey to Mecca, which he made at 1324 in the 17th year of his rule. It was so rich that Mansa Musa displayed on his journey that the eyewitnesses were amazed, and there are numerous instances of the trip in oral histories and oral accounts. This journey revealed Mali’s immense prosperity in the eyes of all world leaders and helped make Mansa Musa a popular figure.

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#4 HE brought an immense amount of wealth with him and splinted IT LUXURIOUSLY

Mansa Musa’s caravan comprised sixty thousand men comprising 12000 slaves dressed in Persian silk. Musa was riding on horseback, and 500 slaves carried a gold-adorned staff directly in front of him. Also, he carried with his 80 camels that were loaded with 300 pounds in gold every.

Musa indulged in lavish spending on his journey, giving gold to the people and exchanging it for gifts in the cities that he passed through during his journey towards Mecca, such as Cairo and Medina. When the historian Chihab al-Umari visited Cairo 12 years later, people were still singing about Musa’s achievements.


The gifts and gold Musa gave away in abundance upset their value on the market in the cities he visited. The sudden increase in gold in these cities like Cairo, Medina, and Mecca led to a drop in precious metals’ value. This led to a massive increase in inflation, with prices for goods rising.

Then Musa was able to take back some of the gold with a high rate of interest to money lending institutions in Cairo to alter the value. After twelve years of his journey, the market could not recover completely. This is the sole instance of history where one individual could control the price of gold throughout the Mediterranean.

#6 A LOT OF WORLD-FAMOUS STRUCTURES were created during his REIGN

Following his return from Mecca, Musa undertook building projects. Several mosques and schools are built at Timbuktu and Gao. He brought in architects from Spain in addition to Cairo to build his lavish palace and his famous Djinguereber mosque.

The magnificent University of Sankore was also built during his time in power. Musa’s palace is has been demolished, but the mosque and the university remain in Timbuktu. Another notable structure built during the reign of Musa was called the Gao mosque, where burnt blocks were employed for the very first time in West Africa.


Mansa Musa brought back several educated men from Egypt he met on his travels. In his travels, the University of Sankore in Timbuktu was transformed into a center of study, drawing Muslim scholars from across Africa and even from the Middle East. Through his travels, the World became aware of Mali’s wealth, which resulted in Timbuktu, an important trading center where merchants from various cities like Venice, Granada, and Genoa traded goods in exchange for gold.

#8 DURING His REIGN, MALI became one of the top empires in the World

It was said that the Mali Empire flourished during Mansa Musa’s reign, and it grew to include several regions such as cities like Timbuktu and Gao. Moroccan writer and traveler Ibn Batuta, who visited Mali 12 years after the death of Musa, said that it would take him four months to traverse from the northern border to the southern part of the empire of Musa.

He also said that he experienced the entire country’s safety to be ‘complete and total within the territory.’ His empire, Mansamusa’s, was one of the most powerful in the World during the period, and he is still one of the most powerful statesmen to have ever lived in Africa.


In 2012, the magazine Celebrity Net Worth published the list of the World’s top 25 wealthiest people in history after taking inflation into account. Mansa Musa was ranked at the top of that list over names like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The report estimated that Musa had a total worth in the range of 400 billion at his demise. It was estimated that the Rothschild Family, which was ranked in the second spot, had only $50 billion. The main reason for the Musa’s wealth was Mali was the source of greater than 50% of the World’s gold and salt supply.

#10 HE WAS PERSONALLY DESIRED TO BE ONE of the greatest rugby players from West AFRICA

There is confusion about the year Mansa Musa died due to conflicting accounts, but it is most likely that Mansa Musa died in 1332. According to 14th-century North African scholar Ibn Fadlallah al-Omari among those Muslim leaders of West Africa, Mansa Musa was the most powerful, wealthy, most fortunate, and most revered by his enemies and the best at doing his people a favor’.

Harrison Jones
Harrison Jones
Harrison has been a freelance financial reporter for the past 6 years. He knows the major trends in the financial world. Jones’ experience and useful tips help people manage their budgets wisely.


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